The Weekly 2000 AD Prog #229: Sentientoid’s Having Its Big Day Out

by Richard Bruton

45 years and better than ever – it’s the UK’s greatest sci-fi weekly comic, 2000 AD and we’re here with The Weekly 2000 AD to give you a preview.

Jake Lynch gives you Sentientoid’s Big Day Out for the cover

After last week’s Regened Prog, it’s three new strips this week – Judge Dredd returns with the prospect of ‘Sentientoid’s Big Idea, there’s a new Tharg’s 3Riller in ‘The Crawly Man and Dexter et. al. return in the final chapter of ‘Bulletopia- The End of the Pier Show’. The two remaining slots in the Prog are taken up with Skip Tracer: Valhalla and Jaegir: Refox.

2000 AD Prog #2297 is out now, which means it’s time to take a little look through for you…



JUDGE DREDD: SENTIENTOID’S BIG IDEA – PART 1 – Rob Williams, Jake Lynch, colours by Jim Boswell, letters by Annie Parkhouse

Slowly making its way across the floor of the Black Atlantic, one step after another, the Sov War droid who’d achieved full AI is headed for Mega-City One… slowly.

Still, it’s given the Sentientoid time to think. And its on the verge of a big idea when it’s swallowed by a mutie whale. Typical.

On the up side, it means the Sentientoid gets back into the Big Meg. A second chance, a second life, one that it knows can’t involve killing for the mob bosses… which brings it back to that big idea.


Oh yes, a return to the aftermath of The Hard Way, with your typically great art from Jake Lynch and Rob Williams having fun playing with the Sentientoid’s Sov origins… sounding at times like a Communist version of Marvin the Paranoid Android. Seriously, try this in Marvin’s voice mixed with a little Russian…

‘All that pressure pushing down on him like the world wanted him to stop. To give up.
Crushing him like the capitalist system crushed the souls and hopes of the noble Proletariat workers.’

As for what the Big Idea is? Well, that’s one for next Prog. But it should be fun – for us, if not for Dredd and MC-1.


THARG’S 3RILLERS: THE CRAWLY MAN – PART 1 – David Barnett, Lee Millmore, colours by Quinton Winter, letters by Simon Bowland

It’s off to Wales, 2022, in this latest of the 3-part Tharg’s 3Rillers here, as Barnett and Millmore take us to the little village of Cudd, full of its own customs, traditions, beliefs, and a system of keeping its traditions secret and handling its problems without the interference of outsiders.

Now, with ‘Festival’ coming, a young girl’s gone missing and the Elders have decided to deal with it their way – which involves getting the man called Herne and his companion, Shuck, onto the case…


So, whilst Herne gets on with things, young Caris discovers that there’s far worse in this strange place of ancient things than those that have taken her.

A nigh-perfect opener from Barnett and Millmore, atmospheric in story and art, with the modern-day setting and the tone of this one evoking the same sense of dread as Thistlebone, that idea of ancient traditions, nature in the raw, and the way those little isolated communities teeter on the brink of chaos and madness at times, just waiting for something to send them over the edge.


SKIP TRACER: VALHALLA – PART 10 – James Peaty, Paul Marshall, colours by Dylan Teague, letters by Simon Bowland

Well, Skip Tracer’s made it all the way to the end of this little quest to get to the source of the infection on the Cube and was just about to free it from the Blackstar’s influence when this happened…


That was the end of episode 10, Djinndorah returning, reborn in the image of the Blackstar, part of Peaty bringing everything full circle in this final series of Skip Tracer. Here, well… the trajectory of this one was always going to end this way, at least in one aspect of who turns up on the Cube.

I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it, Skip Tracer is one of those examples of the sort of 2000 AD series of old – simple and linear, nothing too cerebral, nothing too involved. But I have to say that there’s still the space for this sort of series.


DEXTER: BULLETOPIA CHAPTER 11: THE END OF THE PIER SHOW – PART 1 – Dan Abnett, Steve Yeowell, colours by John Charles, letters by Annie Parkhouse

The final part of the multi-faceted Bulletopia saga that’s been running in small chunks through many Progs now, a long-form Dexter where Abnett and a set of fine Sinister Dexter artists have been playing around rather brilliantly with multiple genres.

Here, it’s the return of a favourite SinDex artist, Steve Yeowell, as Dexter, Carrie Hosanna, Billie Octavo, and Kalinka get to the coast in their attempt to find santuary in their bid to defeat the AI that’s taken over Downlode.

But it’s not all ‘Kiss Me Quick’ hats and making sandcastles on the beach… not with the voice in Dexter’s head causing trouble and Sinister on the trail. It’s bad. How bad? Well, I’ll let Dexter tell you that…


Bulletopia’s been a strange thing, broken up into these little vignettes (I’m assuming here that this final part will be three parts, taking us up to Prog 2299 and the presumed jumping on Prog) meaning that Abnett’s had the chance to play with the genre tropes. But it’s also meant it’s been more fractured.


JAEGIR: FEROX – PART 5 – Gordon Rennie, Simon Coleby, colours by Len O’Grady, letters by Jim Campbell

Kapiten-Inspector Atalia Jaegir of the Nordland State Security Police in need of rescue? Now we have seen it all.

Anyway, it’s all beginning to come together here, as at least two sides of the three plot threads come together… as Jaegir goes after General Kurga, her comrades and their captured Souther GI are reunited. As for the third thread, well, that’s the Southers bearing down on the Misama.


It’s dark, brutal stuff, down here in the business end of the Nort-Souther war, perfect for the darkness inherent in Coleby’s artwork and Rennie’s mood. Although, once you strip away the grim facade of Jaegir, it, like Skip Tracer is just another old-school 2000 AD serial – I just think Jaegir does more to disguise and misdirect.


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